Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

Did Harry Truman know the number of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I think it's altogether possible that he didn't.

His public statement

The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.
8/9/45 [1]

His private discussions

"I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on [Kyoto or Tokyo].
"From the President's Diary, July 17, 18, and 25." Truman Library. [2]
"I don't think we ought to use this thing [the A-Bomb] unless we absolutely have to. It is a terrible thing to order the use of something that (here he looked down at his desk, rather reflectively) that is so terribly destructive, destructive beyond anything we have ever had. You have got to understand that this isn't a military weapon. (I shall never forget this particular expression). It is used to wipe out women and children and unarmed people, and not for military uses."
David Lilienthal, The Journals of David E. Lilienthal, Vol. Two, pg. 391 [3]
"Truman said he had given orders to stop atomic bombing. He said the thought of wiping out another 100,000 people was too horrible. He didn't like the idea of killing, as he said, 'all those kids'."
John Blum, ed., "The Price of Vision: the Diary of Henry A. Wallace, 1942-1946", pg. 473-474 [4]

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